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August 19, 2006

DASD for POW/MIA Affairs - Multiple sources are telling us that a decision has been made with regard to the appointment of the next Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs. An announcement could come at any moment. We are also hearing that the announcement may be made to coincide with POW/MIA Recognition Day.

As our regular readers know the National Alliance of Families, along with the Korea/Cold War Families of the Missing, the Korean War POW/MIA Network, the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, the POW Network, Help Free POW*MIA's Now, the Northeast POW/MIA Network, the Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action CT Forget-Me-Nots, Inc., Task Force Omega of KY, and Heart of Illinois, have all endorsed Mr. Norman Kass for the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for POW/MIA Affairs.

We've all made our calls, sent our faxes and e-mails..... Now all we can do is wait.

Lt. Theodore Watson U.S. Army Korea.... Killed in Action or POW -- According to the 5th Edition of the Gulag Study, there were several reports of an American named Watson held in Soviet GulagĂs. According to the Gulag Study;

"On 15 October 1957, a Polish witness visited the American Consulate in Strasbourg, France. He stated he was held in a prison camp in Bulun until July 1957 and reported seeing the following Americans:

Watson, an American professor of physics captured in Vienna,
Dick Rozbicki, an American soldier captured during the Korean War,
Stanley Warner, an American soldier captured during the Korean War, and
Jan Sorrow, an American soldier captured during the Korean War."

"On September 20, 1957, two Polish witnesses visited the American Consulate in Genoa, Italy. Both men claimed to have been WWII POWs held captive in Bulun Camp 217. They had escaped on May 6, 1957. They claimed to have made their way across the USSR, Rumania, and Yugoslavia, entering Italy on September 18, 1957. They reported that two men, who claimed to be American army officers captured during the Korean War, had been transferred to Bulun Camp 217 from another camp on July 24,1955. The men were: Stanley Rosbicki, approximately 24 years old, of Buffalo, New York and Jack Watson, 38 or 39, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both were infantry lieutenants."

"On September 5, 1960, a Polish witness visited the American Embassy, Brussels, Belgium. He stated he had been imprisoned in Bulun Camp 307 for seven and a half years and was released on May 1, 1960. He reported seeing two U.S. Army personnel captured in Korea: Ted Watson, an infantry lieutenant, and Fred Rosbiki, a commando or paratroop sergeant."

"A Catholic priest visited the U.S. Embassy in Paris on July 11, 1958 to report an interview he had recently conducted with a former Polish Gulag prisoner. The prisoner told the priest that he had recently escaped from North Siberia where he had been held in Bulun Camp 315. He claimed to have been acquainted with two Americans in the same camp: a chaplain, John Westley, captured in Korea in 1952, and a lieutenant, Stanley Rosbicki, from New York. The witness further advised the priest that the two Americans, who appeared to be in good health, had requested that he convey this information to the American authorities for transmittal to their families."

Let's take a closer look at the September 5 1960, report, on Ted Watson. The source, Richard Romanowski, described Watson as a 38 year old Army Infantry Lieutenant. His date of birth was either April 12 or 13. Watson was not married. He was from Buffalo and had a mother, father and two sisters. Rosbiki was described as a commando or paratrooper. His grandparents were Polish emigres. His father was dead and he had two sisters who lived on Liberty Street in Chicago. Both men, according to Romanowski were captured in 1951 and believed their families thought them dead.

Neither Theodore Watson or Fred/Dick/or Stanley Rosbiki are listed either as a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action as a result of action in Korea. Yet the multi-source reporting of both men can not be a coincidence.

A Theodore Stanley Watson was found on the list of servicemen killed in the Korean War. An Army Infantry 2nd Lt., Watson is listed as Killed in Action, February 23, 1951. His home city of record is listed as Brooklyn, NY and his date of birth was March 11, 1924. Watson had a mother, father and brother. Watson was married and he and his wife lived in Long Island, NY.

Records show that Lt. Theodore S. Watson was buried in the Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale L.I., in September 1951, some six months after his date of loss.

Does Ted Watson lay beneath the stone marking his grave or did he survive at least until 1960 in a Soviet Gulag?

Recovery Operation in South Korea - Korea Times, August 3, 2006, ű "South Korea and the United States Thursday began work to excavate the remains of U.S. soldiers from the 1950-53 Korean War, the Army said Thursday. The excavation work is the first since the two sides signed an accord in 2000."

"The joint search team will conduct the month-long work in four areas - Seoul, Chilgok in North Kyongsang Province, Changnyong in South Kyongsang Province and Chongok in Kyonggi Province, the Army said in a statement. "About 10 sets of the American solders remains are believed to be buried in those areas," an Army spokesman said. ``We want to recognize the dead for their devotion and acknowledge their families through the recovery of the remains."

Ex-POW Aids Search for Soldier's Remains, -- Stars and Stripes Pacific Edition, August 20th 2006, by Erik Slavin ű "Gyeonggi Province, South Korea ¨ Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph L. Annello is in the midst of a trip back in time. He was held as a prisoner of war by the Chinese here more than 50 years ago. Today, he's back to help find the remains of a fellow prisoner."

"Annello's story began on April 24, 1951, when two divisions of Chinese soldiers with heavy artillery advanced on the then-sergeant's company during the height of the Korean War. Two days before, the Chinese had begun their offensive against the Kansas line, which ran a few miles north of the 38th Parallel dividing the two Koreas.

While fighting the larger force the best he could, Annello remembers a bullet striking his leg. A grenade exploded as he fell, sending metal fragments into his back."

"The next morning, a Chinese soldier prodded me with a bayonet," Annello said. "He motioned me to get up, but I couldn't." When the Chinese forced a group of 20 prisoners to march, Sgt. Hiroshi Miyamura carried Annello about 15 miles before he was ordered to drop him. Miyamura apologized. Annello understood."

"They figured I wasn't worth the price of a bullet, so they left me there," he said. Two days later, another Chinese unit loaded him on a pushcart and carried him to an outpost where five other prisoners of war shared a shack with barnyard animals. Although they were prisoners at a medical unit, they received no food or care."

The Chinese allowed the one prisoner who could walk to get them water from the river each day. For more than a month, they survived on "roots, dandelions and anything else we thought was edible." During that time, one of the soldiers died from his injuries. The remaining prisoners buried him."

Fifty-five years later, Annello is back at the scene. It looks far greener and a flood has sloped the land but he still remembers several features of the property. After the soldier died, the prisoners knew they had to find a way to escape. While fetching water one night, Air Force 2nd Lt. Melvin Shadduck dove in the river and swam for three days before making contact with the 5th Cavalry Regiment. Shortly after, five tanks surrounded the encampment and whisked Annello and the others to safety."

"Three years later, Annello picked up a copy of Newsweek and saw a picture of Miyamura, the man who had carried him, being awarded the Medal of Honor. Annello traveled to Gallup, N.M., and found his comrade in arms. "You're dead!" Miyamura said, stunned but elated. "No, I'm not," Annello said with a smile. Annello remained in the Army until 1970, retiring as command sergeant major of U.S. Forces Japan."

19 New POW Cases

Part III

The documents found this past spring in the Sedgwick D. Tourison Collection at Texas Tech University raises many troubling questions. The questions that leap out at us are: How long and where were these men held?

In the case of Lt. James T. Egan USMC, the Vietnamese provided the answer to the second part of our question. According to the Vietnamese, Lt. Egan died in captivity in December 1968. Captured January 21st 1966, Egan was held as a Prisoner of War for 2 years, ten months and an unknown number of days. Yet, no returned POW ever reported seeing Egan in captivity.

Where did the Viet Cong hold him? We can't answer that question. We can tell you where they didn't hold him. According to the case summary published in the Report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Lt. Egan and Marine Cpl. Edwin "Russ" Grissett disappeared from the same patrol, one day apart.

The following is excerpted for the Senate Report:

[Begin Summary] On January 21, 1966 Lieutenant Egan was serving as Artillery Forward Observer with a patrol element of the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. Their patrol was fired upon, and after the skirmish, Lieutenant Egan could not be located. The next day Lance Corporal Edwin R. Grissett, Jr. (Case 0236) was also declared missing when he became separated from the same patrol.

In April 1966, information was received that both Grissett and Egan were captured alive from a South Vietnamese Popular Force soldier who had just escaped from Viet Cong captivity. The soldier asserted that Corporal Grissett told him Lieutenant Egan was wounded and later shot by the Viet Cong. Another report was received from a different source that an American with an individual correlating to Corporal Grissett had been shot and killed.

Corporal Grissett told him Lieutenant Egan was wounded and later shot by the Viet Cong. Another report was received from a different source that an American with an individual correlating to Corporal Grissett had been shot and killed.

Corporal Grissett was reclassified as POW during the war, but Lieutenant Egan was not. Neither were accounted-for at the end of Operation Homecoming, after which both were declared dead/body not recovered. Corporal Grissett's remains were repatriated and identified in June 1989.

In August 1990, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed eight witnesses concerning the capture of the two Marines. The information they provided did not lead to the recovery of any remains of Lieutenant Egan.

[End Summary]

Russ Grissett was taken to a Quang Ngai POW Camp and held with other American POWs. Egan was never seen in that camp or any other camp. Yet, he was held as a POW for almost three years. Did he travel with the Viet Cong, as their prize to be exhibited from village to village? Highly unlikely. Or was he held in a second tier POW camp, a camp no one came home from? Both the U.S. and Vietnamese deny the existence of a second tier prison system. If we are to believe that no second tier prison system existed, where was Lt. Egan held for his 2 years, 10 months and unknown number of days in captivity?

As detailed in our newsletters of June 24th and July 8, two memos written in 1992 by Sedgwick Tourison an investigator with the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, reported that the Vietnamese had acknowledged the capture of 19 servicemen the U.S. carried in the status of Missing in Action. One memo described the 19 as having "survived into captivity." Of the 19, only two Robert Greer and Fred Schreckengost have been accounted for with the return of remains and questions surround the Schreckengost identification. The cases of the 17 remaining servicemen who "survived into captivity" have been declared "fate determined." As of this writing those "fate determinations" were made without benefit of remains.

On July 22nd 1992, the very same day Sedgwick Tourison wrote his first memo stating; "My review of JCRC casualty files has surfaced several messages which list a total of nine American servicemen Vietnam has acknowledged were captured alive, all of whom are listed by DOD as having been declared dead while missing. None are officially listed as ever having been a POW," the committeesĂs Chief of Staff Frances Zwenig was writing a memo of her own.

The topic of ZwenigĂs memo was her recent trip to "Thailand, Vietnam and Laos." The memo itself is of little value. However the attachments are of great interest. Specifically, it is the July 17th cable from Joint Task Force Full Accounting Detachment Three Vientiane. The cable describes Zwenig's July 14 - 15th meeting with "Mr. Le Mai and other high ranking Vietnamese officials." The main topic of the meeting... accounting for the 135 servicemen listed as Last Known Alive.

In her meetings, Ms. Zwenig made it clear she was representing the views of committee chairman Senator John F. Kerry. According to the cable: "She said that the Senate Select Committee looked at DOD records and identified the names of 244 missing Americans who did not return at Homecoming, and 111 who died in captivity. She added that the committee asked DOD to research the remaining 133 names hoping to reduce the list, but DOD did not respond in time for the hearings. She remarked that for the most part, the 133 names are the Vessey 135 and that she understood the SRV's confusion on what Senator Kerry said at the conclusion of the hearing. She said Senator Kerry believes that the Vessey cases can be resolved by the recovery and identification of remains, through records, from witnesses of deaths, or some combination of these. She said that Senator Kerry believes SRV explanations of deaths could be based upon past policies and inadequate records in the South."

With an accounting method provided by the CommitteeĂs chief of Staff, that did not require identifiable remains, the Vietnamese now had a way of dealing with that pesky problem of men captured but not returned, without the bother of actually recovering and returning them.

During Zwenig's trip to Vietnam, normalization was a hot topic of conversation. The Vietnamese expressed their opinion that the U.S. was not moving fast enough toward recognition. Ms. Zwening stated that the Committee had no control over the decision to normalize. According to the message traffic, "Ms Zwenig explained the mission of the Senate Select Committee is to produce a better accounting of POWs since WW II and that the fall of the USSR has aided the SSC mission. She added that the SSC cannot deal with aid to the SRV and that Senator Kerry see the SSC as a way to bring this issue to a close."

In reviewing 2 of the cases involving 5 of the 19 servicemen who "survived into captivity" we found several interesting reports that conform to what we can only call the "Kerry Method" of accounting.

Various Vietnamese witnesses reported that Army Capt. John McDonnell, injured his arm in the crash and subsequently died of that injury, injured his leg and subsequently died of that injury, was shot while attempting to evade capture and subsequently died of that injury, was injured either in the crash or during capture and while being transported fell of his stretcher hit his head and died, and last but not least was killed during an American bombing raid. These various "witness" statements allowed a determination of fate to be made in the McDonnell case, without the recovery of remains.

Among the first victims of the "Kerry Method" of accounting and by far the most public are Thomas Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Daniel Nidds and David Winters. The four, included in the Tourison Memo of August 1st 1992, as "survived into captivity." In a much publicized trip to Hanoi in November 1992, some 2 months after Tourison wrote his memo, which stated the four had "survived into captivity," Senator John Kerry was presented with the diary of Col. Pham Duc Dia. In his diary, Dia detailed the ambush, killing and burial of the four. To the media he described how he participated in the ambush. Several years later in the book "HanoiĂs Secret Archives" Dia is quoted by the author stating he participated in the burial of the four and could lead U.S. investigators to the burial site, but no one had asked.

The problem.... Dia lied. He did not participate in the ambush, killing or any of the two exhumations or burials supposedly conducted under the nose of American search teams. Ignored is a CIA report from sources evaluated as "possibly true" that the four were captured and there were plans to move them westward. DPMO ignored this CIA report saying it was hearsay. According to DPMO the source reporting was accurate but the information reported was wrong. It would also seem that the Vietnamese admission, as described in the Tourison memo that the four "survived into captivity," was also ignored.

Without the requirement of identifiable remains, or any remains at all, the door was opened for a new level of creative accounting, which accepted questionable Vietnamese witness statements and ignored U.S. intelligence reports of capture.

Zwenig's trip paved the way for the Kerry trip in November of 1992 and the public accounting for of Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters. When hearings resumed in December 1992, Kerry bragged how he had gotten an accounting on these four men. Yet, within the committees own records, that statement was known to be untrue. Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters "survived into captivity."

Why Does Johnie Webb Still Have His Job?

The full text of the July 22 and August 1, 1992 Tourison Memos may be viewed on our web site at:>

The National Alliance of Families has long been involved in the cases of Tom Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Danny Nidds, David Winters and John McDonnell. To learn more about these cases visit our web site.

For the Mangino Group visit

For McDonnell visit

For more on the 19 New POW Cases visit

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